Now that the yearly fantasy drafts are wrapped up it’s time for the degenerate gamblers in us all to turn our attention to our daily fantasy picks for week 1. I believe the early weeks in the season provide a perfect opportunity to pad your account with some easy money. Whether it’s Fanduel, or any other daily fantasy site, they are limited in the way they increase salaries for certain players without current year statistics backing it up. Good for you and me because we can grab some obvious value players in the early weeks before their salaries start to level off with their production. In my week 1 lineup I have a handful of such players.
Sam Bradford, PHI - $7,500 at ATL
I almost always try to find the best value pick at quarterback on Fanduel. Passing touchdowns are only worth 4 points as opposed to 6 points for rushing and receiving so I like to save cap space at quarterback when I can. There is plenty to like about Sam Bradford in week 1. He has had a productive preseason and his talents fit very well in Chip Kelly’s offense. The Atlanta defense gave up the most passing yards last season. Philadelphia was second worst in passing defense last season so this game is shaping up to be a shootout. Lastly Sam Bradford’s injury concerns have very little merit in daily fantasy, unless he goes down early on Sunday (knock on wood).
Jeremy Hill, CIN - $8,600 at OAK
Jeremy Hill made his debut last season in week 9 and Giovani Bernard never stood a chance. Hill is the Bengals feature running back and received all the goal line work in the dress rehearsal game. This is a plus for week 1 as Oakland gave up 17 rushing touchdowns last season. He is toward the top of the cap for RB’s this week but this is prime example of why saving money on QB pays off.
Christopher Ivory, NYJ - $6,400 vs. CLE
Chris Ivory has risen to the top of the depth chart for the Jets to start the season. He is a beast with the rock and will likely see plenty of opportunity as Ryan Fitzpatrick was forced into the starting role. The Jets have a fantastic matchup this week against the Browns who ranked dead last in run defense last season. His hit against the cap is minimal for the amount of work we can expect to see and the favorable matchup.
Julio Jones, ATL - $9,000 vs. PHI
Very rarely will I recommend spending top dollar on any player. This week I am making that rare exception when it comes to Julio Jones. The Falcons/Eagles game has the highest projected point’s total (55) of any other game in Week 1. Atlanta prefers to get work done through the air and the matchup is perfect against the Eagles pass defense that finished 2nd to last in 2014. Spend the cap space and gain yourself a clear cut elite WR1.
Jarvis Landry, MIA - $6,900 at WAS
Landry happens to be one of my favorite WR2’s heading into the season. He is entering into his second season as the clear #1 in Miami. Tannehill looks Landry’s way early and often making him a PPR favorite week in and week out. Week 1 in particular is a favorable matchup as the Redskins gave up the most passing touchdowns (35) last season.
Davante Adams, GB - $5,500 at CHI
We haven’t been able to see much Adams this preseason. The packers were devastated by the loss of Nelson and Cobb had an injury scare too so Green Bay saw fit to protect their receivers. That being said I like his value this week. He is the #2 wide receiver on a high powered passing offense with one of the best quarterbacks throwing to him. His value is increased this week more than some based on the favorable matchup against the Bears. The Bears defense was bad last season and with coaching changes and scheme changes I don’t see the improvement necessary to prevent the Packers from embarrassing them once again.
Martellus Bennett, CHI - $6,200 vs. GB
Bennett is the small shining light at the end of the long dark tunnel that is the Chicago Bears fantasy value this season. Bennett’s athleticism makes him a good option at TE but week 1 in particular has advantages. The Bears have injury concerns at wide receiver and Bennett’s role was increased in game 3 of the preseason. He is a favorable target in the end zone for Jay Cutler. Finally, he historically plays his best ball in September. Last season his September stat line was 29 rec. 295 yards and 4 TD’s; in 2013 he was 20/225/3. If there was any time to bet on Bennett it is week 1.
Cody Parkey, PHI - $5,000 at ATL
I follow two basic rules when finding value for a kicker in daily fantasy leagues. I look at the odds boards to see what games have high point’s projections and I particularly look for favorable games that are in domes. Cody Parkey is a fantastic find for week 1 that exceeds expectations for both of my criteria. No matter what other advice you may listen to or ignore this is the piece of advice you will want to take.
Miami Dolphins DST - $4,700 at WAS
People might forget that for about half the season last year Miami was a pretty stout defense. Injuries and overall lack of depth failed them at the end of the season, but they have bolstered that defense this off season. I can tell you in two words why I like this match up. Kirk. Cousins. If that isn’t enough then I will also site the fact that Washington has had a world of distractions and “miscommunication” involving RGIII leading up the start of this season. The Redskins are a mess. Miami defense is strong.